The U.S. presence in Afghanistan is expected to end on August 31. In order to evacuate as many people as possible from the country, the plane goes on standard shuttle transport at the airport in Kabul.
It is estimated that there are about 6,000 troops in the United States to guard the airport area. There are thousands of British soldiers and many small forces from NATO countries such as France, Germany and Turkey.
To date, the United States has deported about 28,000 people. The corresponding number for the United Kingdom is approximately 7,000. Sweden is also involved in the evacuation and currently has an air bridge that can operate in two ways – partly between Islamabad and Kabul and between Tbilisi in Georgia and Kabul.
We have room for up to 70 people on each flight, but the list of those to be evacuated is growing all the time, says Per Carl Malm, head of transport air force at Air Flatila in Scaraborg.
“Firing on civilians”
On Monday, Foreign Minister Ann Linde (S) announced that 255 local staff at the embassy and their families and so-called Swedish list had been expelled from Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, the Swedish list is growing rapidly and as of Tuesday there were up to 500 people.
A translator who previously worked for the Swedish Armed Forces describes the situation in the region with great concern.
He was at the northern entrance of the airport for several days and tells SVT not to be allowed inside.
According to him, Afghan soldiers continued to fire warning shots to disperse the crowd.
– The public shouts and shoots at the public. He says it was a disaster and a disgrace.
The riots intensified on Monday, with at least one Afghan soldier reportedly killed in a shootout.
Since then, we have been banned from going to the airport, the translator says.
“We are happy”
Another person with Swedish contacts who spoke to SVT says he was able to enter the airport in Kabul on Tuesday after major difficulties.
He describes walking four kilometers across a river that seemed to be overflowing with sewage to get to an area near the airport. Once in that area, about 20,000 people tried to reach the troops. He himself returned to the Swedish soldiers hoping for help.
– I felt like I had won the lottery when I saw the sweaters. One of them helped me inside the airport. I am so grateful.
According to the Armed Forces, the plane must depart from Kabul even if it is not filled. This is due to the fact that traffic congestion is high and there are strict requirements to keep slot times.
– We fly several rounds every day. We start from Tbilisi because we can fly to Kabul, leave the engines and return directly without refueling, says Peter Soderstrom, unit commander of the European Air Flotilla Heavy Airlift Division.
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